Anonymous yet personal, this Blog chronicles
the daily events and musings of Jim.
It provides an easy way for his friends and family to check in on him,
and serves as a online repository for his random
thoughts, kaleidoscopic flashbacks, and writings on an array of diverse topics.
“Deconstructing Jim” is simply here to
entertain you, but not intended for college credit.

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Chapel Hill, NC, United States

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


It occurs to me that composing a new work of music is similar to building a large sandcastle on the beach. When one is deeply immersed in this difficult process, there are days when it feels that the construction can only be executed slowly: one grain-of-sand at a time.

It's the experience of sitting under the blazing afternoon sun, doing your best to build a grand structure that only exists somewhere in your imagination. You may have to make adjustments to your artistic plans along the line for reasons of practicality. You will probably need to rebuild exterior walls as the drying sand crumbles continuously before your eyes. With the rising tide, micro-tsunami's threaten to wash up and destroy key aspects of what you have already accomplished, but you continue to work on undeterred in search of your ultimate goal.

If you are very lucky, you stand a chance that your sandcastle will make it to completion and survive the forces of nature just long enough to be observed by a few public bystanders strolling along the beach. But you have known all along that the result is temporary and transient. For the amount of effort you have invested in the activity, the end product has little or no practical value.

So why do we build sandcastles?

I think it's the adrenaline rush we get if we succeed. A little momentary elation is worth all of the sunburn.